Local sheriffs, prosecutors oppose recreational marijuana proposal.

October 18, 2018

Sheriff Kim Cole

Local sheriffs, prosecutors oppose recreational marijuana proposal.

Prosecuting attorneys from Mason, Lake, Oceana, and Manistee counties, along with sheriffs from Mason, Manistee, and Oceana counties have all publicly opposed the recreational legalization proposal that will appear on the Michigan General Election ballot on Nov. 6. The announcement was made recently by Healthy and Productive Michigan, an organization that is leading the effort to defeat Proposal 18.1.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola

The four local prosecutors — Paul Spaniola, Mason County; Jason Haag, Manistee County; Joseph Bizon, Oceana County; Craig Cooper, Lake County — are among 56 of Michigan’s 83 county prosecutors who have expressed their opposition. The local sheriffs include Kim Cole, Mason County; John O’Hagan, Manistee County; and Craig Mast, Oceana County.

Manistee County Sheriff John O’Hagan

“In every county, there is a top law enforcement voice, and that is the county prosecutor,” said Scott Greenlee, president of Healthy and Productive Michigan. “They stand in the courtrooms, grapple with issues confronting families, work alongside the men and women who wear the law enforcement uniform, and represent the every day citizens in the quest for justice. They get what issues weave their way through our communities. We are honored to have them stand with us.

Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast

“Michigan sheriffs recognize the danger that legalized recreational marijuana means for our children and communities. We are grateful for their stand to oppose this dangerous proposal,” Greenlee said.

In September, regional press conferences took place around the state where prosecutors and law enforcement came together to make a public statement that Proposal 18.1 is bad for Michigan. The chair of the prosecutor effort, Cass County Prosecutor Vic Fitz said, “Unfortunately as county prosecutors, we see the negative impacts that access to drugs have on the lives of Michigan citizens. We passionately believe that unleashing recreational marijuana with unlimited potency levels will have a disastrous impact on our state.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon

Lake County Prosectuor Craig Cooper

“What would we be as a state if our top law enforcement did not sound the alarm? They see what is happening in Colorado where drug cartels are expanding (per the NBC May 29 report), where homelessness is increasing and the crime culture is expanding, not shrinking. They see the harm that unrestrained access to this drug will bring to Michigan.

“A huge problem with this proposal is unlimited potency – up to 99% THC. Our sheriffs are particularly concerned that there is no reliable roadside testing for marijuana impairment available today. They know more drugged driving will mean more emergency room visits, and unfortunately more fatalities.”

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